Bringing Assistance to Israel in Line With Rights and U.S. Laws

Screen Shot 2023-04-19 at 4.13.21 PM
Credit: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace / Getty
Ensuring that Israel, the largest recipient of U.S. security assistance, complies with federal laws and international human rights standards will require closely tracking and monitoring its weapons use.

By Josh Ruebner, Salih Booker, Zaha Hassan | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | May 12, 2021

Through FY2020, the United States has provided Israel with $146 billion in military, economic, and missile defense funding. Adjusted for inflation, this amount is equivalent to $236 billion in 2018 dollars, making Israel the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. assistance since World War II.

After many years of increasing U.S. military aid to Israel, members of Congress are beginning to debate the wisdom and morality of writing a blank check for weapons—some of which are used against Palestinians living under military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in violation of U.S. laws.

A recent exchange between legislators shows the evolving debate. Congresswoman Betty McCollum introduced a bill on April 15—currently co-sponsored by seventeen representatives—to ensure that U.S. funding is not used for Israel’s ill-treatment of Palestinian children in its military judicial system, forced displacement of Palestinians through home demolitions and evictions, and illegal annexations of Palestinian land. In response, Congressman Ted Deutch produced a letter on April 22, signed by more than 300 representatives, arguing against “reducing funding or adding conditions on security assistance”—which essentially means disregarding Israel’s egregious policies and violations of existing U.S. laws aimed at protecting human rights. The fact that a bill restricting aid to Israel drew seventeen sponsors to date and a letter defending that aid was signed by three-quarters of members—as opposed to all of them—shows that the debate is slowly shifting.

Continue reading “Bringing Assistance to Israel in Line With Rights and U.S. Laws”

The sad truth behind Israeli ‘happiness’

People wear Israeli flags as they take part in celebrations marking Israel’s 71st Independence Day in Jerusalem, May 8, 2019. (credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90)
How can a country that administers constant violence and suffers deep inequalities be ranked the fourth happiest in the world?

By Asaf Calderon | +972 Magazine |  Apr 17, 2023

That there is a huge discrepancy between Israeli citizens and occupied Palestinians is no surprise…

Here’s a strange headline: in the 2023 World Happiness Report, Israel is ranked the fourth happiest country on the planet. We are bested only by the Finns, Danes, and Icelanders, and leave the Dutch, Swedes, and Norwegians in the dust. It is an impressive result at any time, and all the more so while hundreds of thousands of Israelis are on the streets showing just how unhappy they are with their current far-right government.

On the surface, it is remarkable that a country whose citizens are constantly exposed to (and administering) violence, suffering from deep economic and racial inequalities, and facing unprecedented instability — a country recently declared by its own president to be “at the edge of the abyss” — made it even into the top half of the list. So how do we explain this?

Continue reading “The sad truth behind Israeli ‘happiness’”